Cricut Access

Cricut Access

I want to share with you why I do not pay for Cricut Access and all of the free resources I use instead of paying the Cricut membership fees.

By the way, this post contains Affiliate Links to companies I have partnered with, such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can think of affiliate links like tipping your waitress, only it does not cost you anything extra! Thank you for shopping with my links!

What is Cricut Access?

A common mistake is that people will confuse Cricut Design Space with Access. Cricut Design Space is the program or software that we use to make the Cricut operate. Design Space is always free to use. I use it for free every day, and this site is filled with projects that I have created! I have also created free handbooks that you can use to learn more about Design Space.

Cricut mistakes Cricut tips

Cricut Access is the paid membership, or subscription service from Cricut. Think of it like Netflix for your Cricut machine! While you are paying the monthly fee, you are granted access to additional items from Cricut.

What Does Cricut Access Give You

I want to show to the details of what does cricut access gives you, and I will go through each feature one at a time.

  • The use of thousands of images and hundreds of fonts in Cricut Design Space
  • The use of customizable projects in Cricut Design Space
  • The use of exclusive features in Cricut Design Space like
    • Automatic Background Remover
    • Monogram Maker
    • Warp Text Feature
    • Convert to Layers Feature
    • Sticker Maker
    • Warp Feature
    • The ability to have more than 5 category folders
    • Preferred Placement in the Customer Support Queue
  • Savings on purchases
    • Every 3 months you will get a $10 coupon on purchases from Cricut.com
    • 10% saving on every day purchases from Cricut.com
    • 10% off the purchase of licensed images
  • Unlimited project collections
    • Project collections are a way to organize your projects. If you are not a member of Access you can only have up to 5 collections saved in your Design Space account.
  • Priority Member Care

If you decide to go up to the Premium package you would also get

  • 20% off of materials purchased at Cricut.com
  • Free economy shipping on order of $50 or more

Identify Cricut Access Content

When you are using Cricut Design Space you can look at the different images, fonts and projects and look for the small green a icon to know if that element is included with the Access membership. In the image below you can see that I am pointing to the green a icon in the upper left corner of the image preview. Every image that has this icon is included in Access, so as long as you are paying for that membership you can use that image.

Since I do not pay for Access, you can see under the image in the lower left corner of the image preview there is a price. This would be the price I would have to pay in order to purchase that one image but, if I did purchase it then that image would be mine to use forever.

The same thing is true with fonts, but the price to purchase one font is normally $4.99 or more.

One tip I like to share with people is that because it is free to use the Design Space software, you could start to create and save projects and learn to use the software first. If you need help with that process you should check out my Online Cricut Course. Then once you are ready to start to make your projects you could activate your Access membership at that time. This is because Cricut does not ask to charge you for those images and fonts in your project until you click the Make It button.

Is Cricut Access worth it?

A lot of Cricut owners will ask if the price of Cricut Access is really worth the benefits. This is a personal choice, but I am going to show you why I do not pay for Cricut Access.

There are always some free images and fonts in Design Space and you can use the filter so that you only see what is free. Sometimes there will be new free images added that relate to a special holiday or event.

Images and Fonts

While some of the images are adorable, I have found so many other resources for images to use in my Cricut projects. There are sites that have files called SVG files that you can use. If you have never used a SVG file before, please read my article on this topic. I explain what a SVG is, and show you over 20 different places to get free svg files!

Below are just two examples of projects that I have made using SVG files. The first one was a circular mandala svg, and I created it to look like Mickey Mouse. To learn how I did this you can check out my Mickey Mouse Layered Mandala tutorial. The image on the right is a lollipop holder that I made with no alteration to the svg file.

Instead of relying on the fonts in Cricut Design Space, there is a whole world of fonts out there! There are entire websites devoted to just fonts. I would say that the best or most popular fonts are ones that I have downloaded from other websites. Once you download these fonts, you have to install them on the device you are working on. If you want to use this same font when working on your computer and your phone, you will have to install it on both devices.

There are some amazing projects you can create by using only free fonts. You can make a shaped card, like I did with the first example below. You can also create Split Monogram projects, like the example I show in the center image below. Another great example are projects that use what is called Knock Out Text. The third image below is an example of Knock Out Text. I actually have a full tutorial about what fonts to use and how to achieve this look that you can read HERE.

Who Owns the Images, Fonts and Designs?

A lot of Cricut owners are learning that one of the big draw backs with using Cricut Access is that if you decide to turn off your membership, you do not get to “keep” any of the images, fonts or designs you created. You can make them again, but you will have to pay Cricut for them or turn your Access membership back on. Also these items will always be trapped in Cricut Design Space. You cannot export them to use in other software programs.

Now, if you want to be able to pay a monthly fee for images and fonts, but then have them on your computer and be able to use them in ANY software program you want, you should look into Creative Fabrica. When you pay them $9 per month you can download their fonts and designs in any program. And you get the full personal and commercial use of the files!

CreativeFabricaFreeMonth

Extra Features and Tools

I totally understand that sometimes people feel like they are missing out by not subscribing to Cricut Access. Take a look around my site and my social media. Does it look like I am missing out on anything? Everything you see me creating I have done with just the FREE Cricut Design Space functions.

Now let’s talk about all of those features that are Exclusive to Cricut Access members. Just to remind you those would include:

I am going to break down each one and show you how to do the same thing for free in the video below.

If this information was helpful, and you are now planning to turn off your Cricut Access membership I have information on that further down. Also, if you are so happy that I just showed you how to save $100 per year and wanted to show your apprieciation you can

Automatic Background Remover

The Background Remover tool that is included in the Cricut Access price is also something that you can use free apps or websites to achieve the same thing. I have actually gotten feedback from Cricut owners that they have had better results using free apps and tools online instead of the Cricut Background Remover. If you are using an image that has a solid white background you really do not even need anything more than the basic free functions in Design Space. I show you how to do that HERE.

Monogram Maker

While we are talking about text, we better talk about monograms. The Cricut monogram maker tool is another feature that is only available to Cricut Access members. At the time that this new monogram maker tool was released, I did a full article and video on it. Monograms are another thing that you can do for free on your own, as I showed with the Split Monogram project above. If you want your monogram to be inside of a shape, you can easily create a frame shape to do that. There are even apps made just for creating monograms you can use for free, instead of paying for Cricut Access.

Warp Feature

As long as we are talking about text, I should mention that the Warp Text feature is only available to people who pay for Cricut Access. I did a video on this feature when it first came out that you can view HERE. Did you know that there are other free programs and apps that allow you to warp text? This is one of the reasons that I would not pay the added fees just to get this feature. I highly recommend doing a Google search on warp text or how to distort text for free!

In the video I mentioned above I show how to use a site called Kittl, and I hope to do more tutorials using this program.

Convert to Layers Feature

This is new, and I did a video showing it on the mobile app HERE.

Sticker Maker

The short answer to this is to purchase my Perfect Print Then Cut mini course for just $5 and you will know everything you need to know to make stickers without this Sticker Maker tool, plus so much more!

Using Tags instead of Categories

When you create a project in Design Space, if you want to organize those projects into Collections you can do that to keep things more organized. Free members are only allowed five Collections, but Access members have an unlimited number. One work around for this is to use the tags for your images and projects. This allows you to search for those tagged words.

Preferred Placement in the Customer Support Queue

If you ever have a problem with your Cricut, or Design Space, and you need to call in to the Cricut Support line, you will get preferred placement in the queue. I describe this as the “go to the front of the line” pass. If you are a Disney fan like I am, this is Cricut’s version of a Fast Pass.

Most of the things I see people calling Cricut Support on are things they could probably fix by trying some of the things on my Cricut Design Space Fixes page.

Discounts and Savings

That pretty much covers the “extra features” that are included in the Cricut Access membership. The other benefits would be the discounts that you get on purchases, so I wanted to take a closer look at those with you. As a reminder those would be

  • Every 3 months you will get a $10 coupon on purchases from Cricut.com
  • 10% saving on every day purchases from Cricut.com
  • 10% off the purchase of licensed images

Since I am a thrifty kind of person, I am going to run the numbers for you here! I am going to be using the Standard Cricut Access package and costs as of March 16th, 2023. Currently a one year subscription would be $9.99 per month, or $95.88 if you pay for the whole year at once. I am going to assume that like me, you want to try and save some money and are going to choose the “pay for a full year” option.

The first discount is that every three months you will get a $10 coupon to use on purchases from Cricut.com. Since this would mean that in a year, you would get this coupon four times, that would be a total of $40 in coupons for one year. This means if you remember to use those coupons, you could say that you really only spent $55.88 for a year of Cricut Access.

Cricut Access One Year Subscription$95.88
Cricut Coupons for one year-$40.00
Total cost$55.88

Personally, I would be using those coupons for crafting supplies like Cricut blades and cutting mats! If you have been following me for a while, you have probably learned by now that I am not a huge fan of exclusively using the Cricut brand products. The Cricut products I do recommend are

Since the cutting mats and blades are items that need to be replaced, you could easily spend $40 per year on those. If you have Cricut Access that discount comes off right away then you can also use the discount code to bring your total down even more. This is nice that they allow you to stack discounts like this.

If you are the type of person that would rather run to the store to purchase your supplies, or buys them on Amazon, then the Cricut coupons and discount on products purchased from the Cricut website might not be that much of a benefit to you.

Additionally, when you are looking at other Cricut products like vinyl, there are other brands that most crafters would recommend over Cricut. For me, Siser is a clear winner for iron on vinyl, with StarCraft coming in a close second. I would also give StarCraft high marks for their adhesive vinyl along with Oracle brand vinyl. I go over the different types of vinyl in my Vinyl Buyer’s Guide HERE.

Just like how I broke down the cost of Cricut Access for you above, I want to break down the cost of their vinyl for you. For this example, I will be comparing it to Siser EasyWeed.

Cricut Everyday Iron On Vinyl – Black – 24in roll $12.99
10% savings– $1.29
Final Cost$11.70

But what if you purchased Siser EasyWeed from an online retailer like MyCraftSource.com

Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl – Black – 24in roll $6.75
Use Coupon Code ShawnMosch at checkout to save 5%– $0.33
Final Cost$6.42

That is a HUGE DIFFERENCE in price! Additionally, when you buy online you can choose the length of your roll, so if you need 3 feet of vinyl, with Cricut brand you would need to purchase two rolls. With Siser you can order it in a 3 foot roll. This means less waste!

As a Disney fan, the 10% off of the purchase of licensed images is tempting to me. Remember, even if you purchase a licensed image from Cricut you only have permission to use that image for personal use. You cannot sell anything that you create with these images. If you want to learn more about the rules around this topic make sure to read my article about Cricut and Disney Legal Use.

Another thing I want to point out on the topic of Disney and other licensed images is that Cricut is the only place you can legally purchase these images. All of the licensed images you see in various bundles advertised on social media or on Etsy are being sold illegally. As a crafter, sometimes we have to think outside the box for our projects. There are many crafters, including me, that have figured out ways to create our own layered designs for our favorite Disney projects. If you want to learn to do that, you can click HERE.

Cricut Access Questions

If you have any questions about Cricut Access feel free to drop a comment. Then I will come back to this same article and update it to include the answer to your question.

Making this Project Requires a Cricut Access Subscription Message

If you are trying to make your project and you get the message that says “making this project requires a cricut access subscription” and you already pay for Cricut Access first try logging out of Cricut Design Space and then logging back in. If that does not resolve the issue then you might need to go through some of my troubleshooting tips, such has clearing the cache.

Shawn’s Final Thoughts

As I said at the beginning of this article, I think the choice of if you should pay for Cricut Access or not is a personal one. The answer will not be the same for each and every person. How much you craft and are using the Cricut images and fonts is another thing to consider. If you are only a seasonal or holiday crafter then it might not make sense to pay year round for something you really only use a few months out of the year. If you are only making one project a month, maybe it would be more cost effective to just purchase that one single image.

For me, I also feel like I am being more creative when I am using free or found resources to create my own unique designs for projects. I enjoy that creative thinking and problem solving piece of the process. I can do this because I have learned how to use the Design Space software, and guess what . . . I can teach YOU how to do that too with my Online Cricut Course!

Someone I know that is a Cricut Access member brought up some good points in a conversation with me. For her, it is quicker and easier to grab an image that is included in Access rather than having to hunt through all of her files.

Ironically, just days after I wrote this article the CEO of Cricut came out with a message that speaks to this topic. In this statement he spoke about how they are looking to add value to the Cricut owner experience. It sounds to me like they are looking into adding more features and functions, but we can probably expect those added features to be for paid members.

After I sent out my newsletter update telling my followers about my article about Cricut Access I had someone ask me if they wanted to turn off their Access subscription, how would they do that. I created this short video to show you how to get to your Cricut Access settings and how to go into your Account Details to update or change this information.

Also, you will not lose any of your existing projects you have created in Design Space when you turn off Cricut Access, but if those projects contain any items that Cricut sells you will have to pay a fee in order to make the same project again. Remember, you do not own any of these images when you are paying for Access. You are just renting them from Cricut.

If you experience any problems in turning off your Cricut Access subscription you can contact Cricut support.

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4 Responses

  1. I have Cricut access and want to cancel it. When I went to do this it told me a would have to create a new Cricut ID . Are you able to tell me how to do this?

    1. If you go into Design Space, under Settings there is an area that says Cricut Access and you should be able to just cancel it there. If you have any issues you can call Cricut support. I might add this information to my post!

  2. hi please can you help im getting the javascript out of range pop up on my design when i do basic cut how can i please prevent this as it will not connect to the cricuit machine so im currently not being able to complete customers work

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